XP users should read this first
Submit you own question
1 - May I use WebMatrix (IIS) with DBFree?
DBFree could theoretically work with almost any webserver
(providing you know how to instruct the webserver to do so).
Anyway DBFree has a sibling named DBWeb
specifically made to work with Internet Information Server (IIS) 7/8.
DBFree is not intended for such use, but can be easily converted to work with IIS7-7.5-8-8.5
by installing IIS-Express
Using DBFree with IIS will give you the additional benefit of working simultaneously with tens of different web sites on same development
(or production) machine.
Considered that Web Matrix rely on IIS, yes, you can use DBFree with it. Anyway may be a sort of an overkill: just use IIS-Express if you don't
specifically need all of the WebMatrix components (notice that we can not provide support for usage with WebMatrix: only IIS)
2 - Is it safe to install DBFree?
Why do I get an error message
This app has been blocked for your protection or
This software may damage your computer and has been blocked that blocks the
You get the message from the Windows UAC
(User's Acces Control) or from the EV code signing certificate service
on Windows 10,8,7 and Vista.
(Windows XP and 2003 does not include these features and won't complain on DBFree installer, as well as Windows 2008/2008R2 and 2012).
You can proceed with confidence. It is baffling but harmless. Just ignore it and choose to install anyway or download the zipped version
that comes without installer.
Developers often disable UAC straight away, because it is there for unaware and unexperienced users that could accidentally install unwanted
software that change the behaviour of their systems: just to give an example even the ultra-trusty Oracle's VirtualBox, installed on
millions of PCs worldwide, is plagued by the occurrence of the same exact messages.
For a more detailed explanation please consult the informations in the Download Section
3 - What is DBFree?
DBFree is (1
) the name of the project
) the name of this website
) also the name of the final product
(the "distro") we release.
The project is built around the MaxScript interpreter
(actually owned by MAXSIS) of whom we have an exclusive
license of use and redistribution
The license grant to us and to users of our DBFree distributions the use of the interpreter for commercial purposes without need to pay anything
as soon as the final product carry the DBFree label and respects the term of the DBFree license.
You can use and redistribute the MaxScript interpreter delivered with DBFree for free in your applications, be it open source, commercial or closed-source
without owing anything to anyone.
4 - What is DBFree not?
DBFree is not an xBase compiler nor is a Clipper clone. That is a common misconception. Never, during its development, have we intended to make it fully compatible or
build a Clipper replacement. DBFree is targeted to be used on the web for modern CSS3/HTML5 web applications, not for converting old xBase apps.
5 - Who makes DBFree?
DBFree is a Distro
, and is not made by any single individual.
Gianluca Napolitano (Florence,Italy) is project leader and main developer, but other persons' submissions are important and crucial.
Anyone can contribute and post their changes and improvements and have them inserted in the distro (of course upon condition
that we agree on the innovations are good).
6 - What do you get for making DBFree?
Project is entirely free and done on spare time.
We still get help from companies. MAXSIS provides hosting and bandwidth and other services we take advantage from.Also again,
some companies have sponsored certain parts of the development in the past and we hope some will continue to do so in the future.
Some revenues also came and still come from public contractors we supply services as consultants.
Occasionally companies pay individual developers to work on single applications, but that's up to each company and developer.
It is not controlled by nor supervised in any way by DBFree.org
7 - How do I login? How do I register?
Login is reserved to registered users that already have an username assigned (i.e. the users that registered on the old DBFree.org
website before Dec 27,2015).
Since that date registration via web site is no more available.
DBFree asks automatically for registration first time is installed
: registration process can also be done anytime later, from within
DBFree Control Center (Account and updates/Login to DBFree).
8 - Do we need to register? Or can be avoided?
Your DBFree copy gets an Unique User ID (UUID) number that identifies and is permanently associated to your copy of the application and to your
server: registration is optional, meaning you don't need to enter your personal data and have them associated to the UUID, if you prefere so.
9 - How many are using DBFree?
At current point it is impossible to tell.
We don't know how many users downloaded DBFree and then never use it.
We don't know how many users have installed and use DBFree on private networks (intranets).
We don't know how many users are using MaxScript without knowing that they are in fact using it as engine for their applications.
DBFree have been downloaded several tens of thousands of times: we don't have a reliable figure for it
because of the many mirrors around.
Starting from version V4 we will ask users to register for getting the documentation, so to have a better
figure of the overall usage.
The only reliable figure we can provide is about this web site, that had over 1,250,000+ hits and 27.500+ unique visitors (with a returning rate of over 26%)
from May to October 2015.
10 - I have a problem who do I mail?
Registered users can mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support is free.
DBFree is entirely free and open. No person works on it full time or gets paid for developing it. We do this voluntarily,
mostly on spare time so answers to users enquiries may delay. We manage to reply to everyone, but sometimes it takes time.
We don't officially support any forums because supervising them takes even more time.
11 - Where do I buy commercial support for DBFree?
DBFree is made of many components and third part tools, while the core of the product is made of HTML pages.
This means you can hire any skilled engineer to do personalizations or to fix server-related problems.
12 - I want to start a project of my own
DBFree sources are open: you can use it at your will. Anyway the MaxScript interpreter can be redistributed only as part
you make, that means they must be targeted to your final users
, no matter if for free or upon payment
as soon as they are not part of other distributions or in other way targeted to developers.
In other words you cannot duplicate or fork the DBFree project
and build your own distro without a valid MaxScript license.
Contact Maxsis sales
for a quote if you need such a license, not us.
13 - How reliable is DBFree?
The MaxScript interpreter that is behind DBFree it's been around by some 14 years. We suppose this could be considered
some form of warranty.
Of course the interpreter is only a portion of the whole Distro: then there are external libraries and the frameworks
(notably Twitter Bootstrap in its different versions) and JQuery as well as JSON and Ajax technologies with their own
problems and fixes, not to mention the server problems.
Let's say that by using pure HTML and plain MaxScript the applications written for DBFree tend to be solid as rocks, as
were those of its Clipper ancestor, and to run unattended for years.
So far we had no notice of any DBFree system compromised by hackers.
14 - How safe is DBFree?
Safety does not strictly depend by DBFree but by (in order):
- settings of your server
- Windows own vulnerabilities
- webserver software in use and its possible flaws
- add-on components and related security issues
- the way you write your code
After you'll have been considering all these possible sources of problems DBFree itself will be the last one to care of.
In our publications you will find suggestions and explanations on how to reduce the attack footprint of your systems
as well as programming techniques, tricks and trips.
See the Documentation section
15 - I want to develop an application to sell
You're welcome. All the code you find in DBFree distro is freely reusable for your applications.
Anyway the simplest solution for starting a new applications is to get one of the starter kits and replace DBFree original
files with those contained there.
DBFree does not need installers, so once you're finished all you have to do for deploying the whole system is to pack the folder
on your computer and delivery to you customers.
Read the documentation: there are different types of applications and several programming styles and deploy solutions.
16 - Where do I find documentation?
For most informations you will refer to Code Assistant
You may also find useful the Getting Started
guide and the
and other publications
you will find in the section of the same name.
17 - Where do I find examples of usage?
For the basics visit the Examples
section of the Home Page. You may find many other examples using the Code Assistan
or visiting the WebDocs project
in the Documentation
18 - What about the language reference?
The language reference can be found in the Code Assistant
19 - Where do I see DBFree web apps in action?
This site (and some connected with it) is one for all: unfortunately there is no way to search for other DBFree-powered websites.
The only way to know if under the skin there is a MaxScript core is to expose the HTML code of a page when you run into
a DBFree website.
Googling for DBFree will take you here and around, not to customers pages, because Google engine tends to ignore the server-generated
comments like those placed by the MaxScript interpreter, not to mention that commercial version (i.e. DBMax) are completely silent
(they not advertise themselves in the oputput page) as added safety setting.
20 - I only want to publish a static website
Yes you can use DBFree for that, anyway with very little learning you'll get great benefits (i.e. spare lot of time and efforts) by using
MaxScript in your pages, even if you don't use any of the database features.
Not to mention that using static code for serving the contents aside to server-side scripting for added security makes your website safe as a rock.
21 - Where do I find Error Codes?
Visit Code Assistant
section: error codes can be found under Reference
22 - What happened to DBDesk?
DBDesk (wich runs MaxScript V2 apps as desktop applications) it's been recalled by Maxis for a complete revision of the code
to make it compatible with DBFree V4 and DBMax V3.
There are no figures about when (and if) it will be released.
For those wondering DBFree Control Center
is just an example of a DBDesk Win32 Application.
23 - How many user connections can be substained by DBFree?
It depends by your hardware configuration and available bandwidth.
A standard system running from home on a dual core 1.2Ghz box
with Windows XP, DBFree V3, Xitami 2.5 and 1B of RAM, with a 7/0.5 MB ADSL connection can substain a traffic of about 10-15 concurrent users.
The dimension of tables (plus the way you code...) can greatly affect performances.
By using DBFree V4 and Windows 7 plus IIS7.5 on a Quad Core system you can susbstain about 50 concurrent users and eventually tens of different web sites.
Same configuration on a EC2 virtual machine running in the Amazon cloud can substain ten time more, and eventually scale up (providing you pay for it).
DBFree can easily access tables with some millions of records, providing they not exceed 4GB each.
Please notice that Concurrent Users
here are meant as users that read and write
on same database tables at same time
You can extend to an order of magnitude these numbers by queying
users requests or by adopting Maxsis DBWEB.
24 - Where do I find the sources?
It's everything in the distros, except library code that can be found only on this site, due to its constant evolution.
Search for the library source code
in the Downloads
section of your distro. Notice that different versions of DBFree rely on different
libraries, while multiple libraries may refer to same modules.
You must have a look at the sources to depict the dependancies.
Libraries are written in MaxScript for Windows 32
and compiled with DBDEV (a commercial product from Maxsis).
25 - How do I compile the libraries?
You will need a full license of DBDEV for that.
As alternative you can use our DBFactory
service. It is a web-based utility for compiling libraries on-line.
This service have been available since 2010 for registered users: anyway the service is temporary suspended while we revise the code to
make the necessary corrections tohost the service on the new site (which is running on a different version of DBFree).
26 - How do I compile the web pages?
Your web pages are compiled just-in-time in the background upon the first request fron user browser.
There is no way to compile the pages for hiding the source code. Sources must
always accompany their compiled counterparts otherwise
these won't be delivered to the target.
If your need is only to protect your code for commercial purposes
there are other techniques to do that (see specific publications).
27 - What about old DBFree (V1-V2-V3) users?
There is section dedicated to users of previous versions: from the home page just choose the DFreeV2/V3
You can find most of the contents that were on old site on webdocs.dbfree.org
28 - What about we, XP users?
XP is rather old
and there is not much sense into developing new things for it.
If you're absolutely bound to XP this doesn't mean you can't use newer features of DBFree: it only means that you have to use lot of elbow grease
and do some modifications to your system by guessing yourself what is needed.
Keep in mind that new libraries made for DBFree V41 will work on older versions as well, but;
- You will have to update most (let's say all) of your page headers
- it's not guaranteed that the stock headers will fit for you: probably you will need to adjust them for taking into account Xitami peculiarities
- even if the new libraries are compatible with your version of DBFree this doesn't mean that all of your code will.
- Xitami configuration may need some amending
- You will need to modify the CSS used by V41 according with the visual aspects you expect from your pages
- the tree of folders of DBFree 41 are quie different from V1/V2 and V3: this must be taken into account and many changes may be needed
Why DBFree V4.1 doesn't run on XP out-of-the-box:
Update Jan 30,2016 - DBFree V41 (X41) available for download to XP users.
Notice that is a fork, claimed to be fully compatible, but not officially tested. Anyway seems working well.
- The installer fails to launch the scripts it needs: this is because the OS commands they call don't exist in XP
- You can't register DBFree because the script doesn't work on XP (some command are not supported)
- The whole framework which DBFree is based on requires Microsoft Explorer 10 components that some XP users did not installed
(for example if they didn't upgrade to latest IE versions, and now it's too late to do it from Microsoft, at least not easily.)
- The Control Center layout gets corrupted (buttons don't align well, texts overflow, etc.) because of lack of support for XP from the underlying CSS.
All these wrinkles can be ironed by spending some time on DBFree GUI sources and on your machine configuration.
Anyway it's better face the truth: XP is dying, so it would make more sense to upgrade your PC than work on a obsolete platform.
So, are you meaning we are done?
No. Don't loose hope.
There is a bunch of XP die-hard (based in east-africa) that are struggling to make a fork of DBFree aimed to users of old PCs.
We will keep you informed whenever and if they make tangible progress in their works.
Top of page